Wednesday 18 March 2015

Tiger Egg Cowry

Image: liquidguru
Cuspivolva tigris
Tigers lay eggs! And they live in the sea. And they have one foot and no legs.

Tigers are so weird.

Image: Bernard DUPONT
The Tiger Egg Cowry is a tiny snail that can be found throughout much of the Indo-Pacific.

They belong to a family of gastropods known as cowry allies or, if you're feeling particularly uncharitable, false cowries. False. Like fakes.

Never call a tiger a fake to its face. It'll be outraged. And outrage takes up a lot of energy so it'll also be hungry. And you're there, right in front of its face.

Image: Femorale
As we've seen before, cowries and cowrie allies share a peculiar condition. Their shell is incredibly smooth and shiny so that it can be comfortably covered in a thin sliver of skin.

In the case of the Tiger Egg Cowry, the shell is light orange. All those lovely stripes and intense colours come from the mantle, part of the snail's soft body, which stretches up and completely covers the shell.

Video: liquidguru
Check out that flexible siphon! It takes in water through that thing

With these bold patterns you have a good chance of spotting a Tiger Egg Cowry even though they're a mere 1.5 cm (0.6 in) long. It'll be climbing up soft corals and quite possibly munching on coral flesh.

It is a tiger after all.


TexWisGirl said...

pretty things!

Porakiya said...

They certainly are pretty things. At least this is the kind of pretty thing that won't sting you when you mess with it....hopefully ^^

Also, have you ever heard of a water dear?

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: They sure are!

@Porakiya Draekojin: Yeah, those pretty things that won't inflict surprisingly excruciating pain are out there if you can find them!

Oooo... water deer have been on my list for a while!

Porakiya said...

@Joseph: Good. I just looked them up myself, and they're quite weird.....well, their mouths are, anyway XD